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Certification Watch, Vol. 24, Issue 46

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) World Championship has crowned some new champions, putting AWS exam questions under the microscope, and more.

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) World Champions Announced


The Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) World Championship event has crowned a new posse of winners.There's no time for losers this week, because IT training and certification provider Certiport has announced the individuals who are the new champions of the world. The Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) world, that is. For nearly two decades, Certiport has hosted an annual competition — the only one of its kind endorsed by software titan Microsoft — to determine which young people between the ages of 13 and 22 are the most skilled (and certified) Microsoft Office Specialist users in the world. After the 2020 World Championship event was canceled (almost certainly on account of the global COVID-19 pandemic), this year's competition was held online (also almost certainly on account of the global COVID-19 pandemic). For this year's competition, 160 finalists from 33 different countries qualified to compete in the championship event, held virtually Nov. 9-11. The list of champions is as follows:


Microsoft Word (Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019)
First place: Ondrej Cach, Czech Republic
Second place: Man Weng Tong, Macau
Third place: Qiao Yan Yang – Malaysia


Microsoft Word (Office 2016)
First place: Huy Nguyen Quoc, Vietnam
Second place: Leyao Huang, China
Third place: Peng Yu Lin, Taiwan


Microsoft PowerPoint (Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019)
First place: Andrew Chuang Saladin, USA
Second place: Ma. Jessa Gomez, Philippines
Third place: Ka Hin Hung, Hong Kong


Microsoft PowerPoint (Office 2016)
First place: Masaharu Komiyama, Japan
Second place: Carson Mulvey, USA
Third place: Siddh Vora, India


Microsoft Excel (Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019)
First place: Ami Nakazono, Japan
Second place: Joaquin Saul Rivera Rivera, Peru
Third place: Viktoria Zhelyazkova Kabaivanova, Bulgaria


Microsoft Excel (Office 2016)
First place: Songyao Luo, China
Second place: Phat Nguyen Duc, Vietnam
Third place: Ka Kiu Chan, Hong Kong


Microsoft Announces Beta for New Azure Exam


Microsoft is changing up its Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification, and there's a chance for Azure experts to get in on the ground level. Effective immediately, Microsoft is accepting registrations for the new Azure Solutions Architect Expert exam, AZ-305: Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions. The first 300 individuals to take the exam on or before Dec. 17 will get an 80 percent discount on the cost of the exam. Here's how Microsoft describes the Azure Solutions Architect job role: "Azure solutions architects advise stakeholders and translate business requirements into designs for secure, scalable, and reliable Azure solutions. They partner with developers, administrators, and other professionals responsible for implementing solutions on Azure."


Can a Mentor Help You Get Certified?


There are mentors in almost every corner of the IT industry, to say nothing of the modern workplace at large. Almost everyone has both immediate and long-term goals, and a knowledgeable and thoughful mentor can make an important difference in achieving both. "What about IT certification?" you might ask. "Can a mentor help me get certified?" That's the focus of a recent article from the October issue of Certification Magazine that was posted to, the official Certification Magazine website, earlier this month. The article take a wide-angle approach, dissecting the current usage and application of terms like "mentor" and "mentoring" before getting to the nuts and bolts of the question at hand. It's apparently Part One of a two-part series, so expect additional exploration of the topic when the January issue of the magazine (Certification Magazine is published quarterly) rolls around.


What to Expect When Taking an AWS Certification Exam


An AWS blogger has some good advice about how to tackle certification exam questions.Speaking of someone who has experience providing an informed perspective about an IT certification topic, there an interesting post to the AWS Training and Certification Blog this week. Guest author Manikanta Gona discusses best practices for taking and passing an AWS certification exam. In particular, Gona drills down on the AWS exam questions, discussing the format and content of such questions and providing a blueprint to help exam candidates parse each question while taking an AWS certification exam. Gona asks three key, ahem, questions about each exam questions. The first is to work through "What requirement does the question put in place?" In other words, be sure that you know what you've been asked to do in your answer before you start to formulate that answer. The three-step approach is actually entirely applicable to other certification exams, so even if you're not staring down the barrel of an AWS exam, you'll find some good advice here.


That's all for this edition of Certification Watch. Please keep your certification news and tips coming to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



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